Piaget Polo S
13 Apr 2018
The Worlds of IWC Schaffhausen
One luxury brand, six watch families – each imbued with an unmistakable identity. Here, the pillars that make up the IWC universe.
The Constant-Force Tourbillon, the perpetual calendar and the minute repeater – no other IWC watch family is equipped with as many high-end complications at the Portugieser. Designed originally in 1939 as a special order for two Portuguese businessmen, the models in this range are decorated with clear Arabic numerals and slender hour and minute hands. Its most popular iterations today include the Portugieser Automatic, the Portugieser Annual Calendar and the Portugieser Chronograph.
The first IWC Pilot’s Watch made its debut in the mid ’30s for civil aviation purposes. Later adapted for pilots of the Royal Air Force, the timepiece, which is one of the watch industry’s most iconic, is designed to perform under the unexpected conditions of a cockpit. It’s robust, anti-magnetic and also resistant to fluctuations in temperature. Several decades on, IWC stays true to those features. Today, in addition to the Big Pilot’s Watch and special editions to benefit the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation, the brand has also introduced a smaller 36mm range to cater to those with slender wrists.
Inspired-by and named-after the charming fishing village on the Ligurian coast, the Portofino family is lauded for its timeless appeal and classic design. In 2014, IWC also unveiled a range of midsized 37mm references, including a handful that’s beautifully adorned with diamonds for the ladies.
Most famous for housing the perpetual calendar module invented by former IWC Head Watchmaker Kurt Klaus, the Da Vinci family was relaunched in 2017 in the elegant round silhouette from the mid ’80s. Decked with moveable curved lugs that enhanced comfort for the wearer, the refreshed line-up featured an impressive new in-house manufactured calibre – 89900 – which, for the first time, combined a chronograph, tourbillon and retrograde date display on a single dial; and a series of ultra-feminine Automatic 36mm models – some of which are set with diamonds on the bezel.
The IWC Aquatimer is a fully functional dive watch without the typical clutter on the dial. Boasting a display that’s simple and easy to read, special editions of the Aquatimer have been released to benefit the company’s long-time partners such as the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Cousteau Society, which are committed, respectively, to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands and the protection of endangered marine species.
Drawing its design cues from the high octane racetrack, the Ingenieur is inspired by IWC’s passion for motorsports and engineering. In 2017, the company returned to the iconic round design of the first generation of Ingenieur watches from the ’50s and ’60s, sending out a sporty yet elegant edit of Automatic and Chronograph models, as well as a flagship reference equipped, remarkably, with a digital perpetual calendar and a chronograph.